A homeless man in Stockton, California, may have saved the life of a working mother.
For the second time in two weeks, Tuyet Tran found herself staring at the barrel of a gun. The Chevron gas station clerk was working on Nov. 30 when she noticed a suspicious man making his way towards the store, Fox 40 reported.
“This time around, it’s just scary that he was so aggressive,” Tran told Fox 40.
Tran had been robbed two weeks earlier by a woman who pointed a gun in her face. She said she became immediately suspicious of the man, who seemed drunk and had urinated outside the store.
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“So I tell my homeless friend Steve [Smith], 'cause he was inside the store with me, to kick the cone close so we can shut the door,” Tran explained. “The guy comes in, he has the gun out, and he says, ‘give me all my money.’”
As Tran made her way towards the register, the homeless man took action and moved near the door.
“Finally got the fire extinguisher to unhook, and he started spraying the fire extinguisher all over and he sprayed the guy in the face,” Tran recalled. “The guy finally took off in his car.”
Tran said she was grateful for Smith's actions, but had to ask him why he put his life on the line like that.
“I asked Steve you know, ‘Why did you do that? You could have gotten hurt. You know, he could have shot you,’” she told the news station. “And he told me, ‘Because you have kids.’"
“So grateful for him. So thankful 'cause he could have just gone away and left me and go do recycling but he didn’t.”
Smith and Tran’s friendship began years ago. Smith had asked Tran to borrow her phone so he could call his parents during the holidays.
“And I see that compassion in his eyes that he really wanted to talk to his mom and dad, so I let him use my phone,” Tran recalled.
Tran has been letting Smith use her phone to call his parents every holiday since.
Surveillance cameras did not capture the suspect, but he is described as a Hispanic male with a long ponytail. He was wearing a black hoodie and white jeans, and escaped in a red Toyota pickup truck with two females.